Google Says Its E-Books Store Will Launch By Year-End

Google’s forthcoming e-books store now has an official launch date: The end of the year. Company executives had initially promised in June 2009 that the store, which will let consumers buy digital versions of current and older titles, would launch by the end of 2009. They later said it would launch in June 2010 but that did not happen either.

Executives now tell the WSJ that the store, which is being called Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Editions, will launch in the U.S. by the end of December and will debut abroad during the first three months of 2011. They say the launch was delayed because they “didn’t want to come out with something that wasn’t thorough.”

Google has outlined details of the store, including the percentage of revenue it will share with publishers, in the past, and it doesn’t sound from the WSJ story as though anything major has changed.

The store, which Google has said will feature more than 500,000 titles, will be device-agnostic, meaning that texts will be readable on any device with a browser. Consumers will be able to buy the electronic titles both on the Google Editions site, as well as on the sites of third-party retailers who are allowed to resell access.